John Filiatraut had pretty good timing.
He became Dearborn Divine Child’s football coach just as defensive end Aidan Hutchinson stepped on campus.
Hutchinson wasn’t an immediate star, but Filiatraut saw the potential that was realized on Tuesday night, when the 2018 four-star prospect committed to play football at Michigan.
“The first thing that jumped out at me – he was maybe 6-foot, 180 pounds, a skinny kid – but he really, really played hard,” Filiatraut said. “Even as a ninth grader the kid has always played hard. Maybe if you attribute that to his bloodline. He had one speed in practice and games.”
Hutchinson’s father, Chris, was a prolific defensive end for Michigan from 1989-92. He had the same energy as his son, even though he wasn’t as big.
LSU became the first to offer Aidan Hutchinson, now 6-foot-6 and 245 pounds, as a sophomore.
Michigan and other schools offered soon after that.
U-M defensive line coach Greg Mattison, who coached Chris in his final season at U-M, and defensive coordinator Don Brown did “their due diligence” in recruiting Hutchinson, Filiatraut said. They visited Divine Child a few times in the last year, and U-M coach Jim Harbaugh visited in mid-January.
Hutchinson doubled as a left tackle and defensive end last season, finishing with 68 tackles and 11 sacks.
“Aidan would probably be the best player on our team at eight defensive positions and eight to nine offensive positions,” Filiatraut said. “He’s a hand-in-the-ground defensive end and plays outside the shade of the tackle.”
Hutchinson took an unofficial visit to Notre Dame on Monday, before committing to Michigan on Tuesday.
He’s the third member of Michigan’s 2018 class, joining linebacker Otis Reese (Leesburg, Ga.) and offensive guard Emil Ekiyor (Indianapolis).
“It kind of came down to him being ready to be done,” Filiatraut said. “… He’s the kind of guy you want to keep that relationship with, a good person. I’m a Wisconsin grad and will happily cheer for him and Michigan.”